Fjällräven High Coast Wind Anorak

The Fjällräven High Coast Wind Anorak ($180) is a packable lightweight wind- and water-resistant anorak-style jacket. But first thing’s first. You have to know how to pronounce “Fjällräven”.

Get your tongue-roll on for the “r” and say it with me: “Fee-yellll-reh‘ven”.

Check you out! You just said “arctic fox” in Swedish!

Fjällräven High Coast Wind Anorak
Fjällräven High Coast Wind Anorak

The High Coast Wind Anorak is my first experience with the Fjällräven brand, so I went into it with my usual skepticism on design, functionality and fit, and the search for at least one “flaw” that I could point out to make the review as objective as possible.

Design: The High Coast Wind Anorak is made from a blend of 46% Fluorocarbon-free infused organic cotton and 54% Polyamide that is coated in environmentally-friendly Greenland Wax.

Greenland Wax deserves an honorable mention because it is a critical component of the High Coast Wind Anorak‘s design. Greenland Wax is a Fjällräven-propriety blend of blend of beeswax and paraffin. The concept is not new. The Scandinavians used it to make garments water-resistant long before Fjällräven was even born.

The benefits are that it is natural and you can rub it onto any shelled garment to make it water-resistant and dirt-resistant. Just be advised that it only makes the garment water-resistant not water-proof. It will protect you in a light drizzle but not a downpour. Also, it can, and will, wash off.

To maintain the High Coast Wind Anorak‘s water resistance, wash only when absolutely needed in cold water and hang to dry. Hot water and dryer heat will melt the wax. This won‘t destroy the Anorak but it will destroy the water-resistance part, forcing you to re-apply the wax.

Functionality: There is no question that it is a functional and essential piece of outdoor gear for backpacking. It‘s also very well made and durable, with high-quality fabric and straight and tight stitching.

I used the High Coast Wind Anorak in two key testing grounds: Hiking Mt. Ulriken in Norway and climbing Colorado‘s Mt. Sneffels.

Unfortunately for me the weather in Norway was horrific. Of the fourteen days I was in the country, it rained ten. Strangely enough, I stayed dry in the drizzle, of which there was plenty. When downpours were forecas I stayed indoors.

Fjällräven High Coast Wind Anorak
Fjällräven High Coast Wind Anorak

Find your Fjällräven High Coast Wind Anorak on Amazon!

This is no way means the Anorak failed. It is not a full-on rain jacket. It is a lightweight, packable wind shell and this is where it excels. Have you ever stood atop a Colorado fourteener in howling winds? I have. It wasn‘t bad at all.

What I love most about its functionality is how much space it does not take up in a daypack.

On both the Norway trip and the Mt. Sneffles climb, I used a Deuter Airlite 26 SL daypack in which the High Coast Wind Anorak stuffed easily into its mesh side pocket.

Despite not being a zipped jacket, it was quick and easy to pull on over my head when the winds picked up.

Yet it isn‘t limited to hiking. I have used this for cycling and sea kayaking, too, because the cut and fit allows for a wide range of arm motion and ventilation.

Fit: The style is simple with only the most essential detail to seal out the elements, all to save weight. The well-fitting hood is adjustable, there is a half-length zipper at the front and a kangaroo pocket that doubles as a pack bag. The sleeve cuffs have elastic edging and thumb holes that keep sleeves in place.

Flaw: High Coast Wind Anorak does everything that Fjällräven says it will do, which is to be a light-weight, packable, water- and wind-resistant jacket that packs down to the size of a softball when not in use.

If it had a flaw, even by a long stretch, it would be the price tag of $180. Shoppers who live in regions that are known for their torrential downpours may be better off investing their money in a full-on rain shell.

Conclusion: The Fjällräven High Coast Wind Anorak does all it was designed to do. It is versatile, lightweight and designed for warm weather adventures that do not involve torrential downpours. I recommend it as a spring, summer and early fall garment for day hikes or any outdoor pursuit in drier climates.

– Marie

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the Fjällräven High Coast Wind Anorak for free from Fjällräven, in consideration for review publication.

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Wow, really appreciate an honest review. Well written hitting all the key features. Good info on washing and drying too.

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